SOCA01H3 Study Guide - Final Guide: Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget, The Hidden Curriculum

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Published on 8 Dec 2011
Chapter 4
René Spitz (1945, 1962): conducted a study that showed convincing evidence of the
importance of socialization in unleashing human potential.
oComparison of children being raised in an orphanage and those who were raised
in a prison nursing home
o6 nurses cared for 45 orphans, while nursing home children were taken care by
their mothers
oNursing home children tasted a slice of society
Social deprivation
Without childhood socialization, most of our common potential remains
"the central growth process in adolescence is to define the self through the clarification
of experience and to establish self-esteem"
Socialization is the process by which people learn their culture - including norms,
values, and roles - and become aware of themselves as they interact with others
They do so by: (1) entering and disengaging from a succession of roles and (2)
becoming aware of themselves as they interact with others
A role is the behaviour expected of a person occupying a particular position in society
"agents of socialization": families, schools, peer groups, and the mass media
oIt is during childhood that the contours of the self are first formed
Theories of Childhood Socialization
oSocial interaction soon enables infants to begin developing a self-image or sense
of self - a set of ideas and attitudes about who they are as independent beings
oAccording to Freud, a self-image begins to emerge as soon as the id's demands
are denied
oThe child eventually develops a sense of what constitutes appropriate behaviour
and moral sense of right and wrong
oRepression involves strong traumatic memories in a part of the self that we are
not normally aware of: the unconscious
oInsistence that the self emerges during early social interaction and that early
childhood experience exerts a lasting impact on personality development
The self consists of your ideas and attitudes about who you are
The id, according to Freud, is the part of the self, that demands immediate
The superego, according to Freud, is a part of the self that acts as a respiratory
of cultural standards
The ego, according to Freud, is a psychological mechanism that balances the
conflicting needs of the pleasure-seeking id and the restraining superego
The unconscious, according to Freud, is the part of the self that contains
repressed memories we are normally aware of
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Researchers have called into question many of the specifics of Freud's argument. Three
criticisms stand out:
1. The connections between early childhood development and adult
personality are more complex than Freud assumed
However, sociological research reveals no connection between these
aspects of early childhood training and the development of well-adjusted
2. Many sociologists criticize Freud for gender bias in his analysis of male
and female sexuality
Freud argued that psychologically normal women are immature and
dependent on men because they envy the male sexual organ
3. Sociologists often criticize Freud for neglecting
Freud believed that the human personality is fixed by about the age of five
oSociologist Charles Horton Cooley introduced the idea of the "looking glass
oFrom these judgements we develop a self-concept or a set of feelings and ideas
about who we are. In other words, our feelings about who we are depend largely
on ho w we see ourselves evaluated by others
oThe way others evaluate us helps determine the size of the discrepancy between
our self-concept and the person we would like to me
The I, according to Mead, is the subjective and impulsive aspect of the self that is
present from birth
The me, according to Mead, is the objective component of the self that emerges
as people communicate symbolically and learn to take the role of the other
Significant others are people who play important roles in the early socialization
experiences of children
The generalized other, according to Mead, is a person's image of cultural
standards and how they apply to him or her
oJean Piaget divided the development of thinking (or "cognitive") skills during
childhood into four stages
oThe first two years of life, he wrote, children explore the world only through their
five senses
oThe "sensorimotor" stage of cognitive development
oChildren begin to think symbolically between the ages of two and seven, which
he called the "preoperational" stage of cognitive development. Language and
imagination blossom during these years
oBetween the ages of 7 and 11
oPiaget called this the "concrete operational" stage of cognitive development
oBy about the age of 12, children develop the ability to think more abstractly and
oThis behaviour marks the beginning of what Piaget called the "formal
operational" stage of cognitive development
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oFor Vygotsky, ways of thinking are determined not so much by innate factors as
they are by nature of the social institutions in which individuals grow up
oAncient Chinese philosophies focused on the way in which wholes, not analytical
categories, caused processes and events
oAncient Greek society was less socially complex
oMarkedly different socializations grew up on these different cognitive foundations;
ways of thinking depends less on innate characteristics than on the structure of
Primary socialization is the process of acquiring the basic skills needed to
function in society during childhood. Primary socialization usually takes place in a
oTook up and developed the idea of the "looking glass self"
oNoted that a subjective and impulsive aspect of the self is present from birth -
simply called it the I
oLike Freud, Mead argued that a repository of culturally approved standards
emerges as a part of the self during social interaction. Mead called this objective,
social component of the self ,the me
oMead saw the self as developing in four stages:
i. Imitating important people in their lives
i. Pretending to be other people by using their imagination
i. Simultaneously take the role of several other people
i. Teach an individual that other people, employing the cultural standards
of their society, usually regard the individual as funny or temperamental or
oOne of the best known examples of how social position affections socialization
comes from the research of Carol Gillian
oDemonstrated that sociological factors help explain differences in the sense of
self that boys and girls usually
oLawrence Kohlberg showed how children's moral reasoning - their ability to judge
right from wrong - also passes through developmental stages
oArgued that young children distinguish right from wrong based only on whether
something gratifies their immediate needs
o"preconventional" stage, what is "right" is simply what satisfies the young child
oRight and wrong in terms of whether specific actions please their parents and
teachers and are consistent with cultural norms
oSome people never advance beyond conventional morality
oThe capacity to think abstractly and critically about moral principles
o"postconventional" stage of moral development
Secondary socialization is socialization outside the family after childhood
The hidden curriculum in school involves teaching obedience to authority
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